Below is a blog that was published by my mentor John Maxwell in October 2016. I had highlighted it and kept a copy in my inbox because personal growth has always been high on my list of priorities. I hope this blog will also inspire you to make personal growth a habit…
(Edited extract from John Maxwell’s blog)
Personal growth is one of my passions. A life committed to continual personal growth produces results beyond our wildest imaginings. Because I’ve seen the power of growth, I’m always fired up to share the principles and practices that will help people make it a habit. That’s the “how to” of growth. But before anyone is ready to learn the “how” of growth, they need to embrace the “why.” That’s what I want to discuss today.
There are several great reasons to pursue growth. It can help us achieve our career goals. Over time, it creates momentum, which encourages more growth. And an emphasis on growing – rather than “arriving” – makes it easier to learn from failure. But there is one key reason to pursue growth that I want to discuss today. This outcome has the most power to change our lives in every way.
I encourage people to pursue a lifetime of growth not just because it will make them better, or open new doors. I encourage people to grow because growth increases hope.
A GROWTH MINDSET IS THE SEED OF HOPE
Think about it: Growth in the natural world is all about looking forward. A sapling becomes a mighty oak by growing slowly over time. An infant grows into a child, who eventually becomes an adult. Hope is the same way. It looks forward. When we have hope, we can imagine a better future. And hope isn’t just wishing for things that might be. It’s the firm belief in things that will be. It’s looking past your present circumstances with the belief that you have a future.
Planting the seed of growth is as simple as a change in mindset. When we decide to believe that growth is possible, and commit to pursuing it, hope begins to rise. The change in focus is only the first step, but it can be the beginning of a long and rewarding journey.
A GROWTH HABIT STRENGTHENS HOPE
Choosing to grow is important. But that decision is not enough to create change on its own. Next, we need to acknowledge that growth is a gradual process – that in fact, it happens one day at a time. And then we need to establish the habit of growing on a consistent basis.
When you practice the discipline of growing a little every day, you are doing your part to strengthen the hope inside of you. With each small step taken every day, you make progress toward improving yourself and your world. It’s like author Garrison Keillor once said, “There’s only so much you can do, but you must do that much – even if you don’t know how much that is.” When you grow, you are putting your future into motion. And with every step toward the future, hope is reinforced and strengthened.
GROWTH OVER TIME REALIZES HOPE
Growth over time helps us act our way into hope. When we take small steps of growth every day, over time, we see progress. And then our hope has the most potential to be realized. If you string together enough days of consistent growth, you begin to change as a person. You become better, stronger, more skilled, or all of the above. And when you change yourself, you can change your circumstances. This begins a cycle of growth strengthening hope, leading to more growth, resulting in even more hope.
When you make growth a priority and pursue it in small, intentional ways every single day, you will experience gradual, consistent growth. And that will strengthen your hope for the future. Growth is a difference-maker. And it can make a world of difference to you today.